It's late at night when you finally head out of Hanley to go home. With no street lights, the only road leading out towards Burslem is black and fraught with peril. You might curse your foolishness for staying too long in one of the many drinking establishments, or bemoan the business which kept you out later than you intended. There are no taxi ranks, no friendly police officers or marshals, no prospect of a bus to take you home – for this is Hanley in the early 19th century. The night is full of dangers – and there’s no-one to help. You steel your courage and begin the long walk home, perhaps thinking of the fireplace and the warm bed that awaits you. But out of the darkness you hear a sound, whispered voices, a muffled giggle. Lying in wait are members of the Rough Fleet Gang – Hanley’s notorious clan of thugs, thieves and cut-throats. Hoping it’s your imagination, you carry on walking, but when the hollering ruffians leap out of the hedges, … [Read more...] about Hanley’s Rough Fleet Gang
19th century hair care
A man who was sexually abused at a children's home in the 1970s has spoken of his belief a paedophile ring may have been operating inside the facility. David Whelan, who waived his right to anonymity, said he believed he was being groomed to be "passed on" while he was at Quarriers Village children's home in Renfrewshire. The witness, who stayed at the facility between 1969 and 1974, was abused at the home. He was 11-years-old when he went to the orphanage. Speaking at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh on Friday, he said: "I believe I was being groomed to be passed on. "At the time, you try and understand what was going on here, try to read what's going on here. "I'm as clear as daylight - I was going to be passed on. "I just wonder if there was a paedophile ring operating out of Quarriers, with some former residents." The late-19th century development consisted of dozens of orphan homes which were run by "house mothers" and "house fathers". In 2002, John Porteus was … [Read more...] about A paedo ring ‘may have been operating out of Quarriers Village children’s home’
Around midnight on Thursday, March 29, 2018 there was a knock on the door of Jack Williams' traditional terraced house in Bonymaen, a community of around 6,000 people which overlooks the city of Swansea. On the doorstep was Jonathan Donne, a 42-year-old heroin addict known as Jonny, who was freed from jail last year after serving 10 years for killing his girlfriend, Michelle Harkett. His new girlfriend Gemma Owen, 31, was hiding around the corner and Simon Cairns, 46, was hiding in the shadows, having driven them up to Bonymaen from the tough Brynmelyn housing estate where they lived. © Sputnik / Chris SummersJack Williams grew cannabis in the spare bedroom of this house in Bonymaen, near Swansea, and it cost him his life On Tuesday, October 30, Donne was convicted of Jack's murder at Swansea Crown Court while Owen and Cairns were acquitted of all charges. On Thursday, November 1, Donne was … [Read more...] about Murdered For Weed: Would Jack Williams be Alive if Cannabis Had Been Legalized?
My guide Iain Jamieson is applying mindfulness techniques to a situation I never thought to find myself in. It’s a Tuesday evening in October, deep in the Forest of Dean. It’s a clear night. The smell of autumn is in the air. Stars gaze down on woodland alive with animals unseen. Drinking tea made on a coal-burning stove in the middle of a small secret clearing, while the notorious local wild boar lurk nearby, feels like a big enough adventure for me. But now I’m at the bottom of Morse’s Level, a Victorian coal mine, crawling my way to the seam. For a while, the tunnel is high enough to stand in, then it shrinks away to two-thirds my height. I’ve been banging my head with alarming frequency. I’m not sure if I’m delirious from adrenaline or concussion. I don’t think I can fold myself any smaller but we’ve reached the entrance to a long shaft barely wider than the shoulders of man-mountain Iain. The shaft follows a sharp incline … [Read more...] about Ancient art of free mining solves a very modern problem
In 1892, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky conjured dreams of roaring fires, Christmas trees, and a feast of sweets. He had been commissioned to write the score to a two-act ballet adapting ETA Hoffmann’s festive story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and the later tale it inspired, Alexandre Dumas’s The Story of a Nutcracker. The music he wrote – enchanting and delicate, with notes that fall like flurries of snow – has since become a Christmas tradition. Indeed, it's now performed annually by ballet companies across the world, and has been retold and reinterpreted by the generations it has enchanted. The latest to pick up the baton is Disney – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms not only revisits the fantastical worlds created by Tchaikovsky, Dumas and Hoffmann, but also expands on them in a way never seen before. In this new version, directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is bestowed with a mysterious gift … [Read more...] about Discover the rich world of Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms